Vacation time: To Seoul

Posted by in Mike's blog

We have added another stamp to our passports.

Mary got a generous 3 week vacation from her ALT job and I am still on summer vacation from school, so we decided to take a little trip to South Korea. Travel was one of our biggest motivations for coming to Japan in the first place, and travel we did.

We enjoyed 10 full days in Seoul (OK fine it was a big trip). Mary reached out to some old friends from our bible college days before we left, and to our surprise they offered us their apartment to stay in while they too were away on vacation – all for the low, low price of taking care of anything that may have gone bad in their refrigerator while they were gone. Having a warm place that we were able to temporarily call “our own” to return to at the end of each day was a huge blessing.

I like to think of anything that takes place while travelling as an “adventure”. Some of our adventures this time included:

Day 1: Instead of taking the stairs, we got trapped in an elevator in Old Seoul Station. A “rescue team” was summoned to save the day. They sent a ladder through a hole in the ceiling and we got out the Jack Bauer way.

Day 3: The bunny turned 2! We set out to celebrate at an overcrowded indoor amusement park called Lotte World. We bailed after we realized that the bunny would have spent most of her birthday waiting in line. We went to a kids cafe instead, and she had several hours of pure, birthday joy in a ballroom, play structure, sand table and race track.

Day 4: The bunny took a firm stand against our policy of mandatory stroller use during naptime hours and spent our entire tour of Chandeokgung palace removing her leg warmers, socks and boots over and over again. The palace tour is all outdoors. Naptime did not take place and we missed almost everything the tour guide said.

Day 6: A small K-pop concert was waiting for us when we went to the observatory at N Seoul Tower. The bunny was fascinated with both the dancers and belt barrier dividing the stage from the not stage…so she wandered on stage. Nobody seemed to mind because she kept a safe 2m distance from the dancing.

Days 7-9: At 1500won for every ¥100, we wanted to shop! We found some nice winter gear for Mary and some birthday presents for the bunny at Dongdaemun market, but not before we got lost in the “old lady” section. We felt like we walked 1km down the same narrow corridor surrounded by old Korean ladies and their never-ending clothing options. We also went to Costco to load up on some of our favourite comfort foods that are rare/expensive in Japan: Cheerios for bunny, peanut butter for me, and nothing for Mary because she STILL has enough Nutella to stock a crêperie for a week.

Now that we’re back we are looking forward to more adventures a little closer to home. We haven’t seen any of Fukui’s major attractions – perhaps some of them will be next on the list. There are some more pictures of our trip to Seoul on the photos page.